Shaun Marsh will travel to South Africa after all to take part in the three-match Test series against the number one ranked Test side after recovering from a calf strain. He will replace all-rounder Shane Watson, who himself has a calf strain and will miss at least the first Test in Centurion, which begins on Wednesday.
Commenting on the addition of Marsh to the squad, National Selector John Inverarity said: “Shaun has now recovered from injury and the National Selection Panel has selected him to join the squad in South Africa in light of Shane Watson not being available for the first Test with a calf injury.”
Marsh was originally included in the Australian touring party when it was named last month, but withdrew because of his injury. However, he played a pivotal role for his Big Bash League franchise Perth Scorchers in yesterday’s final against Hobart Hurricanes, hitting 63 off 43 balls as the Scorchers claimed their first title. Him proving his fitness at the WACA coincided with the decision that Watson wouldn’t be fit in time for Centurion, hence Marsh’s reinstatement to the Test squad.
Watson’s injury leaves Australia will just one all-rounder ahead of the first Test, with Moises Henriques having replaced James Faulkner, who withdrew with a knee injury. It opens up the real possibility that the tourists will go in with a four-man attack, with Phil Hughes and Marsh vying to bat at number six.
Australia first Test squad: Michael Clarke (captain), Brad Haddin (vice-captain), Jackson Bird, Alex Doolan, Ryan Harris, Moises Henriques, Phil Hughes, Mitchell Johnson, Shaun Marsh, Nathan Lyon, James Pattinson, Chris Rogers, Peter Siddle, Steve Smith, David Warner.
© Cricket World 2014